Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Big Role for a Small Nation

On April 2nd, Bhutan will be the host of a U.N. conference on happiness and sustainable economies.

The Guardian reports,

The world's industrial powers, like major companies, are locked into the current destructive economic system and are unwilling to make more than incremental changes to address the enormous ecological and social challenges of our age.

But coming to their rescue is the tiny Himalyan kingdom of Bhutan, which has a population of just 700,000. Bhutan, the only country that measures its progress by the level of happiness among its citizens, will next week host a conference at the United Nations in New York, with a grand ambition in mind.

It is seeking to convince the world to radically change global politics and economics, placing the emphasis on happiness and wellbeing, rather than growth. "It may not be appropriate for a little country like Bhutan to dare to offer advice to the world," says the government before doing just that. "Continuous economic growth and expansion in our finite world is not a must. In fact, this global economic slowdown presents a great opportunity to give nature a rest ... to reduce stress, to have more free time, to become more secure and self-reliant, and to improve the quality of our lives."

There's more here from the New York Times. We'll be keeping an eye out for coverage of this event which will definitely place a spotlight on Bhutan.

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